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Thomas William Zimmerman

August 31, 1978 May 13, 2020
Thomas William Zimmerman
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Obituary for Thomas William Zimmerman

Thomas William Zimmerman passed away peacefully Wednesday, May 13 2020. Tom was loved by many, and more importantly, he loved many. He was an innovative musician, writer, future physician, true intellectual, and lead driver of the Motorcade of Love. Nothing made Tom happier than spending time with the family and friends he loved so dearly. His heart had no barriers, and his friendship knew no bounds. He faced his illness with bravery, and humility, leaving this world on his own terms. Tom was preceded in death by Grandparents Edward and Helen Zimmerman, Fred and Nancy Simon, and uncles Eddie Zimmerman and Bobby Simon. He is survived by his parents Robert (Tobert) and Leslie Zimmerman of River Forest, IL, and sister and best friend Amy Zimmerman, nephew Andrew Zimmerman, brother-in-law Ryan Auerbach, Uncles John Zimmerman, Joey Zimmerman, Lee Worthy, Jim Provines, Bruce Simon, David Simon, Jerry Simon, Danny Simon, Mike Simon, Mike Groves, and Eddie Simon; Aunts Pam Zimmerman, Marguerite Simon, Karen Simon, Donna Kampner, Alison Simon, Mary Simon, and Chris Simon. Tom grew up with many cousins and enjoyed getting to know several second cousins.

Tom was born August 31, 1978, spent his early years in Bloomingdale, Il, before moving to River Forest, IL. He graduated from OPRF in 1996, Northwestern University in 2000, and attended Rosalind Franklin University Medical School for three years, leaving to fight liver disease. An avid guitar musician and a powerful song writer, Tom performed with the John Barry Suggestion and The Interociter, playing lead guitar and doing vocals in Chicago venues. He had a lifelong love of reading, even Calvin and Hobbes and almanacs. Chicago professional sports teams provided energetic diversions and discussions with friends. He was able to cheer the Chicago Cubs to a World Series and saw the 1985 Chicago Bears win a Super Bowl. The Jordan years of the Bulls became the backdrop of his love of professional basketball. And finally the Blackhawks did not disappoint with a Stanley Cup. He scanned pet rescue internet sites to find the neediest cats and dogs to adopt. Tom found joy in life and fought hard to keep it in his struggle to beat liver disease. Tom did not forget his pants this time.

“I soon learned that Tom was a frontman for a band AND pursuing a medical degree. I couldn’t reconcile that a guy so smart and so funny could actually be good at so many different things.” Colin Jensen

“As great as the music was, so were the drives to Oak Park, grabbing greasy food before and after shows, meeting up at Rose’s to the Rip Tide Lounge, and general mayhem all around. Tom always had the keen ability to steer you away from anything remotely phony and remind you to like what you liked.” Sam Grossman

“I’ll never forget the times as children we would play together and do crazy things. Your one eye closed getting water off your face was one of a kind, and I still think of it to this day.” Kelly Koepp-Schlereth

“My heart is heavy, but even after all these years since the days at Willard, when I think of Tom—I see him playing his guitar at some late night hour, eyes closed contentedly, a curled smile on his face. That or the nonchalant ease in which he crushed his exams. He was talented in so many ways, and one of the smartest people I ever knew.” Taruna Madhav-Crawford

A celebration of Tom’s life is planned for a safer and later date. Memorials in Tom’s memory can be made to the Chicagoland Food Depository, the American Red Cross, or Cavalier Rescue Midwest (cavalierrescuemidwest.org). A special thanks from Tom’s family to Journeycare Chicago.

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Memorial Contribution

American Red Cross

PO Box 37839
Boone, IA 50037-0839

Cavalier Rescue Midwest

308 S Grant Street
Earlville, IL 60518

Greater Chicago Food Depository

P.O. Box 6949
Chicago, IL 60680-6912
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